Address by H.E Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma
Chairperson of the African Union Commission
on the occasion of the 28th Meeting of the NEPAD Heads of State and Government
His Excellency Boni Yayi, President of the Republic of Benin and Chairperson of the African Union
His Excellency Hailemarium Deselegn, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Chairperson of the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee
Excellencies, Members of the NEPAD Heads of State and
Commissioners of the African Union
Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki, Chief Executive Officer of the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency
Representatives of Regional and International Organisations
Ladies and Gentlemen
It is indeed my singular honour and privilege for me to make a statement at this official opening of the 28th Meeting of the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee (HSGOC) in my new capacity as Chairperson of the African Union Commission. May I take this opportunity to welcome you all to the headquarters of the AU where the Commission spends a lot of hours, and to wish you a very happy new year.
Of course, we cannot sit in this meeting and not think of the late Prime Minister Zenawi, and his dynamic leadership and commitment to NEPAD. May his soul rest in internal peace.
My special thanks also go to the members of the NEPAD Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee for the constant support given to the African Union Commission and the NEPAD Agency.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I commend the efforts that have been made and continue to be made by the Agency and the Commission to improve the harmonisation of their work, particularly through the elaboration of policies and strategies and work programmes, with a view to avoiding duplication of efforts.
It is also my pleasure to report that the implementation of the approved organisational structure for the NPCA is proceeding smoothly based on AU rules, regulations and practices.
In the last six months, synergy between the NEPAD Agency and the Commission was strengthened in the area of agriculture, food security and nutrition and infrastructure. The Agency, together with the Commission, established, within the framework of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), in the fisheries sub-sector, a Joint Working Group with a view to elaborating an Integrated Pan-African Strategy. The Strategy will guide reforms in the sub-sector at the national and the regional levels.
In the area of infrastructure, the Agency worked closely with the Commission to determine the modalities for the operationalization of the Institutional Architecture for Infrastructure Development in Africa and the capacity building needs of the Regional Economic Communities and continental institutions, with a view to facilitating the implementation of the priorities of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), as well as clarify the roles and responsibilities of the different stakeholders.
It will be recalled that the 18th Assembly of Heads of State and Government in January 2012 adopted a Declaration Assembly on the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA). In adopting the PIDA, AU Heads of State and Government committed, among others, to "undertake to contribute financially to the Special Fund of the NEPAD Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility..." which is the main Project Preparation Facility to help develop the PIDA projects. Partners also contribute to the fund.
Regarding the mobilization of finance to prepare and implement the PIDA Priority Action Plan (PAP) projects, the expected capital costs of delivering the selected 51 projects and programmes amounts to about $68 billion. Of that amount, approximately US$ 200 million is required over the next four years. This is equivalent to US$ 50 million/year, assuming that 100% of this amount will be derived from African domestic resources. A Strategy, prepared by the key PIDA Stakeholders (AUC, AfDB and NPCA), was presented at the 27th Session of the NEPAD HSGOC but its implementation of course may take time.
We would also like to say we are pleased that the champions of PIDA are dedicating a substantial amount of time and money to these projects. We encourage more countries to do the same.
Within the context of knowledge management and the development of policies and strategies, the NEPAD Agency and the Commission intensified their work towards achieving higher levels of coordination, consistency and synergy in the planning, implementation and monitoring/evaluation of regional programmes.
The NEPAD Agency is also involved in the development of the AUC Strategic Plan for 2014-2017, on the basis upon which the Agency will also develop its own. Further, the Agency is working closely with the Commission on the development of the AU-wide Strategic Framework, where other African institutions are also involved.
Despite NEPAD's accomplishments to date, a lot still needs to be done in order for the ordinary man and woman across the continent to feel the impact of NEPAD's deliverables in a consistent and concrete manner. This requires, among other things, addressing the challenges facing the NEPAD Agency. These challenges include inadequate financial resources to implement in a timely manner continental and regional projects and inadequate human capital to facilitate the implementation of programs and projects.
While appreciating the support from the development partners, we will need to do more about mobilizing domestic resources for NEPAD. We would also like to request that the organizational structure approved that has been approved be implemented. However, in order for us to implement, we need more money. For, the longer we delay in doing this, the less effective the Agency will be. We therefore humbly request that we be supported in this regard. We also want the NPCA to work with us to work with us in the OAU 50th anniversary in May 2013. This will enable the NEPAD Agency to showcase its achievements since its establishment, as part and parcel of the OAU/AU's accomplishments.
1. In conclusion, I wish to express my gratitude to the Deputy Chairperson and all the Commissioners of the African Union Commission for their contribution to NEPAD.
2. Finally, I wish to commend Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki, the Chief Executive Officer of the NEPAD Agency for his leadership as well as the results he and his team have achieved so far.
I thank you for your kind attention.